Hurricane In Florida, Record Cold In West, Record Heat In East
Hurricane Erin menaced Florida with wind and heavy rain Tuesday, while thunderstorms stretched across the middle of the nation. The West had record lows and the East had record highs.
Erin was expected to roll ashore on the Florida coast sometime Wednesday morning.
By late afternoon, the hurricane had wind blowing at a steady 85 mph, with gusts to 100 mph reported in the Bahamas.
Up to 10 inches of rain was possible, along with an 8-foot storm surge along the coast. An estimated 800,000 people living along the coast had been told to evacuate.
In the central part of the nation, moisture streaming northward from the remnants of tropical storm Dean, which ran ashore in Texas, contributed to thunderstorms that were scattered along a cold front stretching from Texas into Michigan.
The storms’ heaviest rain was likely during the night from central Texas through southeastern Kansas to west-central Missouri.
The cold front marked the leading edge of a mass of cool air that has scattered record lows temperatures this week from the Northwest onto the Plains.
Tuesday’s record lows included 45 at Goodland, Kan.; 44 at North Platte, Neb.; 42 at Denver; 41 at Cheyenne, Wyo.; 42 at Helena, Mont.; and 45 at Tooele, Utah. Pocatello, Idaho, tied its record at 43.
Ahead of the cold front, temperatures hit record highs Tuesday in the East, including 93 at Cape Hatteras, N.C.; 97 at Baltimore-Washington International Airport; 97 at Jackson, Ky.; 91 at Mansfield, Ohio; and 95 at Warwick, R.I.
Even the northern Maine town of Caribou posted a record with a high of 93.
Elsewhere, thunderstorms were scattered over the desert Southwest.
Tuesday’s temperatures extremes around the Lower 48 states ranged from a morning low of 26 at Wildhorse Reservoir in northern Nevada to an afternoon reading of 117 at Palm Springs and Thermal, Calif.